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Assets, Gifts, and Grants

The collective asset total of Columbus Survey participants remains effectively flat from FY 2017, increasing by less than one-half of one percent. These lower asset growth rates, observed field-wide, are reflective of a more volatile investment market in 2018, especially in the second half. The field's collective fundraising and grantmaking totals have however increased to a more significant degree, at roughly 8 percent each.

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Total Assets1

1Silicon Valley Community Foundation made a change to their accounting method as it pertains to digital assets, decreasing their FY17 asset total. This chart applies that change.

Median change in assets

Total Reported Gifts & Grants

Total Reported Assets, Gifts, & Grants Over Time

To measure longitudinal growth using a consistent sample, focus is kept on the largest 100 community foundations by asset size as reported in FY18. Assets grew by slightly more than 1 percent for this group, while total gifts increased for the third consecutive year and now approach $10B, and grantmaking grew for the seventh straight year.

Year Assets Gifts Grants
2009 $40,520,348,068 $3,626,229,744 $3,609,106,487
2010 $43,889,158,090 $4,098,683,138 $3,697,059,385
2011 $45,037,461,251 $4,486,347,680 $3,625,726,789
2012 $49,806,840,568 $6,097,805,709 $4,000,015,007
2013 $58,142,440,840 $6,814,343,213 $4,366,944,434
2014 $64,244,360,431 $7,796,131,761 $5,313,191,307
2015 $66,153,654,027 $7,244,944,817 $5,979,715,272
2016 $69,712,016,711 $8,116,729,991 $6,838,738,113
2017 $78,552,487,496 $8,979,511,227 $7,925,371,335
2018 $79,501,578,383 $9,687,474,109 $8,516,613,584

Changes in Gift and Grant Activity

The median survey respondent saw an 8.1% increase in gifts received, up from 7.1% in FY17. Nearly a third of all respondents saw fundraising totals increase by more than 50% over FY17 levels. Grantmaking continues its steady growth across the field, with degrees of change remaining consistent with FY17 survey results. For the second consecutive year, the median grantmaking increase for respondents was 10%.

Median change in gifts

  • Dramatic Decrease
  • Moderate Decrease
  • Neutral
  • Moderate Increase
  • Dramatic Increase

Median change in grants

  • Dramatic Decrease
  • Moderate Decrease
  • Neutral
  • Moderate Increase
  • Dramatic Increase
Type of Activity Dramatic Decrease Moderate Decrease Neutral Moderate Increase Dramatic Increase Median Change
Gifts 10% 26% 15% 18% 31% 8%
Grants 3% 19% 30% 36% 12% 10%

Median Gifts and Grants Per Capita

While it's typical to see gifts and grants per capita increase with asset size within a sample of Columbus Survey respondents, significant fundraising activity among smaller community foundations in FY18 resulted in per capita metrics that are comparable with some of their larger counterparts.

Access the data for all participating community foundations